Welcome to the Hunger Games!
May the Odds Always Favor You...
The Hunger Games is the latest and greatest craze in entertainment. It is looking like it really will become the next Harry Potter and Twilight saga of the new year. Which I am just fine with. It took me some convincing to go see the Hunger Games movie, but after seeing it I will gladly welcome it to the entertainment realm. (And this is coming from a guy that is definitely not a huge fan of the Harry Potter and Twilight by any means!)
Before I go into my review, a quick Hunger Games summary goes a little like this:
Every year in this dystopian society, the Big Brother-like government known as the Capitol holds a contest. This contest is known as the Hunger Games. A two-week-long battle royale where 2 children aged between 12-18 are chosen from each of 12 enslaved districts to compete with each other until death do them part. The reasoning for this is due to a war briefly talked about in the movie where the 12 districts rose up against the Capitol and the Capitol ended up beating them back to a bloody pulp after 13 years of warfare.
So to pay penance for their disobedience, the Capitol forces the 12 districts to give up two of their children each year to compete in the tournament. The tournament itself takes place in a large arena that spans the miles where the contestants must learn to forage, survive in the wilderness and against their fellow competitors that are out to kill them.
Hunger Games is a Deliciously Dark Dilemma Set in a Big Brother Society
Unlike other extremely popular mainstream fantasy books, Suzanne Collins offers a very dark approach to Young Adult fiction. Whereas Harry Potter has a villain that is supposedly the "ultimate evil" that is only a couple of decades old, and Twilight has vampires that are sparkling pussies in comparison to the Dracula's of yore, Suzanne Collins trilogy is extremely different.
Any story about children slaughtering each other out of the need for survival is going to give people a double take. It reminds me a bit of the Lord of the Flies (a great book by the way) told in a more agreeable language. By agreeable I mean the writing is far more accessible to the modern-day reader and movie-goer.
Since I have yet to read Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy books as of yet, I can only give my opinion on the first movie released.
I am glad to say I was enthralled into the story immediately. Some of the costumes are oddly bizarre, yet fittingly show the extremely decadent society that the Capitol truly is. The Big Brother feel to the entire movie mixed with a bit of the Truman Show's ever watchful camera truly gave the entire film a dystopian flavor.
Some of the scenes with the actors really gripped me. The actors, especially the actress that plays as Katniss Everdeen the film's main protagonist, gets a hats off and two thumbs up. It is rare where I find myself truly engaged in a movie. Especially a movie that is so hyped!
I had only heard of the Hunger Games trilogy nary a month ago from the time of this writing. Already it has surged forward as a gigantic social phenomenon. Something that even Harry Potter and Twilight did not do in such quick successive leaps.
The ending to the Hunger Games was not the cheap thrill so often given to us movie-goers either. It ended in a somewhat surprising way. I especially felt bad for the Gamemaker, despite his lack of morals for allowing such games to exist in the first place.
The film deals with extremely dark themes, however it is not all doom and gloom. Parts of the movie are literally laugh out funny - and I believe most of those scenes are intentional. Such as the Head of Ceremony - one of the main announcers and interviewers of the Hunger Games contestants - is just simply awesome.
Should You See the Hunger Games Movie?
I believe the Hunger Games is a movie and a story that would appeal to a massive audience. However, if you don't enjoy the idea of teenagers slaughtering each other and trying to survive in an almost hopeless setting, then I suggest looking elsewhere for your movie going fare.
Otherwise, I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for an engaging cinematic experience. The story will flow well both to the intellectuals (Such as me of course) to the more casual movie-goer.
If you watched the movie like me before reading the books, make sure to follow my advice and buy the Hunger Games trilogy while you're at it. I know I am. You can either buy the series in hard copy, or you can download them to your Amazon Kindle Fire.